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  • Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs

    Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs

    As we get over the start of a new year and the holidays seem like a distant memory, we enter a new season with the worst surprise of them all… the flu. With the weather, the “warriors” who insist on coming into the office, travel, and the nights off to hang out with friends at... »

  • Basses and Skill: Stick to One or Diversify?

    Basses and Skill: Stick to One or Diversify?

    Q: Is there any benefit in mastering two (or more) types of basses? I have a 5-string fretted that is my primary instrument, and that’s the one I take out of the “shed.” After finding a great deal on a fretless 4-string at a pawnshop, my thought was this bass would be perfect for playing... »

  • Left Hand Flexibility for Bassists

    Left Hand Flexibility for Bassists

    When playing the bass, flexibility is far more important than strength. In fact, if body mechanics and gravity are used intelligently it takes surprisingly little strength to play our instrument. Flexibility, however, is paramount to many of the things we must do well. In the left hand (or fingering hand for the lefties!) it is... »

  • On Performing: Somebody, Somewhere, Is Going To Notice

    On Performing: Somebody, Somewhere, Is Going To Notice

    Just when you think no one is watching… someone comes along and compliments you on your technique. Technique? Really? Of all things… This past weekend, I played a rock ’n roll gig at a smoke-filled, small-town bar with Coors and Miller lights ablaze. A few older gentlemen approached me during a break and asked: “what... »

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  • Versatility: A Guide for Bassists

    Versatility: A Guide for Bassists

    Q: Like a lot of the guys out there on the scene, you make a living playing a wide variety of styles. I have a hard enough time trying to play well in any one style of music. How do you get so comfortable in so many different kinds of musical settings? A: I think... »

  • What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 3: Defining Groove

    What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 3: Defining Groove

    Photo Credit: Mika Hiironniemi As bassists, one of our main goals is to make the band groove. The only problem is that the term can be vague. Many young players that begin their quest for the elusive groove are met with descriptions like, “If you have to ask, you’ll never know.” In an effort to... »

  • How to Improve Your Phrasing

    How to Improve Your Phrasing

    Q: I’m looking to make my phrasing more dynamic. What would you suggest? A: For this week’s column, I decided to make a little video to answer this question, and demonstrate what I do to work on my phrasing. Check it out: »

  • Making Resolutions: A Guide for Bass Players

    Making Resolutions: A Guide for Bass Players

    Although it seems most people have given up on the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, some musicians still make music-related resolutions. The most popular ones seem to be along the lines of “practice more,” or worse, “become a better bass player.” While the intent is laudable, it is unlikely that such “resolutions” will have... »

  • Building Bass Lines: Navigating More Changes

    Building Bass Lines: Navigating More Changes

    Q: I have recently begun playing with a pop artist who writes what I would call “chord heavy” songs. These are not your typical I-IV-V tunes, and they definitely aren’t “riffy”; they are tunes with intricate verse and chorus progressions and extended bridges. I have been going off the lead sheets for now, but my... »

  • Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass

    Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass

    Ah ha! You’ve reached the oh-so-exciting section of the music store where the possibilities seem endless and you get giddy just thinking about picking something up and taking it home… No, not the bass wall… the bookshelves! You feast your eyes on the “Teach Yourself Harmonica” manuals, the transcription books of Green Day guitar solos,... »